Seats of the faithful
Seats for the congregation, Wells Cathedral; 6 June 2015.

Here I’m doing something I almost never do, which is using a 50mm prime lens.  Because it is (more or less) equivalent to the viewing angle of the human eye (on full frame cameras), it used to be known as a standard lens and was sold as such on all new 35mm camera bodies.  But the ways in which I “see” the world, that is the ways in which I make images from what I see around me, really shy away from this focal length. 

At the wide angle end of things on full frame, I’m happier with 21mm or less, even 24mm doesn’t seem quite low enough – and I can remember the days when 24mm was considered quite radical and hard to handle – how times have changed!  Telephotowise, I’m anywhere above 100mm – but especially at 300mm which, with 6x magnification, really seems to be how I view most things with image potential.  And 105mm must also get a mention – its wonderful for portraits.

Click onto the image to see a larger version in a separate window.

D800 with 50mm Nikkor; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Dramatic preset.


  1. Speaking of sitting up (Paula), what unusual seat configuration! I cleverly deduce, from the apparent adjacent row of seats at top left, that you have not performed another drastic rotation, as I first suspected, which means that the parishioners had to sit practically bolt upright, with no useful back support at all, and even had lean forward to maintain a modicum of comfort. No wandering of attention during the sermons in this congregation!


    • Gary, you’re absolutely right – the backs on those seats are vertical, this is muscular religion! But you’re wrong when you say that parishioners “had” to sit bolt upright, this photo is now, they HAVE to sit bolt upright! Think I prefer just going and propping up a bar somewhere … 🙂


  2. I usually shoot between 100 mm and 300 mm, sometime I venture around the 600mm with birds and from time to time I use my 35 mm (I have a crop sensor camera). The difference is huge and I notice I got lazy with zoom lens, with the 35 mm, I have to step back or forward to get the framing I want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean about zooms making us lazy, Nelson – I had a session recently with a 50mm prime and it really altered how I had to do things. And very good to meet another telephoto enthusiast! 600 sounds exciting – I’ve a 400 too, and that makes for very different photography. Thanks for your thoughts! Adrian

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know that my photo session in Wells cathedral went “swimmingly”(!) but it was a different experience (and one that I intend to repeat), what with f1.4 (not used in this image) and the 50mm – and spot metering really came into its own, whereas lazy old me usually uses matrix metering and exposure adjustment. I’m glad you like the mono, and that my lens info is of interest. Love your blurred musician! A 🙂


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